Furry Friends Visit

The most serious disease afflicting older persons is not cancer or heart disease – it’s loneliness. Time after time, scientific research has shown that pets help reduce stress and lower blood pressure, offer affection and unconditional love, fight loneliness, and increase social interaction and physical activity.

FurryFriendsPsychologist Penny B. Donnenfeld, who brings her golden retriever mix Sandee to her New York City office, has even witnessed her ability to rev up elder owners’ memories. “I’ve seen those with memory loss interact and access memories from long ago,” she says. “Having a pet helps the senior focus on something other than physical problems and negative preoccupations about loss or aging.”

That’s why we’ve introduced our Furry Friends program. The objective is to bring our animals into assisted living centers to bring companionship and spread joy among residents. We accomplish this by bringing one of our own animal ambassadors during a convenient time and offer residents the opportunity to cuddle and interact with one of our dogs. Additionally, our animals benefit enormously from the extra love and attention.

Lunch Buddies VISIT

Executive with DogBased on a successful pilot with one of our local business partners, we’re introducing a Lunch Buddies program. Our objective is to bring our resident animals into the community to meet a broad range of potential adopters. We accomplish this by transporting our animals to your office building during your company’s typical lunch time, and offer your employees the opportunity to cuddle with our pups.

Our animals certainly benefit enormously from the extra love and attention, but they aren’t the only ones to gain something from the experience! The novelty of having the animals in the parking or outdoor break area sparks conversation among employees who may not otherwise have much opportunity to speak to one another in the course of a workday. Once the conversation gets going, your employees will soon be swapping stories about pets they have known and loved. Having a positive, non work related topic in common can build the employee to employee bond and improve morale. Furthermore, having the dogs there encourages taking a bit of exercise during the break, thereby increasing alertness and productivity for the rest of the day!

In the days or weeks leading up to your Lunch Buddies date, you may choose to promote a way for your employees to support the Humane Society. You might offer, for example, the opportunity for employees to pay $5 to wear jeans to work on the day of the event or $10 to be able to bring their dog to work one day. Alternatively, you might run a raffle or silent auction in the break room, with proceeds supporting HSHC, or run a donation drive for items from our Wish List. These are just a few of the activities we would be happy to discuss with you should you be interested in pursuing an event at your office. To thank you for your fundraising efforts on our behalf, we offer to your employees a 20% discount off pet adoptions for seven days following your Lunch Buddies event date.

HUMANE EDUCATION Visit

Help make our future world a little brighter by instilling children with compassion and empathy for all living things! One way to accomplish this is by having one of our team members visit your class, Scout troop, or other youth group; or by bringing your group to the shelter for a visit. Our experienced speakers will tailor a presentation to your group’s needs, and we may even be able to bring an adoptable pet with us (if allowed.) Our interactive topics include proper pet care, dog bite prevention and safety around animals, the importance of volunteerism and giving back to the community, and of course, what a shelter does. We can also include a crafting component to the visit if time allows.

To schedule any of these visit types, contact our Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator at 410.836.1090 x104, or email volunteer@harfordshelter.org. Have another type of visit in mind? Give us a call to discuss!